Category Archives: Dog Diseases

How much is your dog worth?

Priceless, most of us would say. But what happens when you have an old dog and an unknown illness, like an abdominal mass? Your vet runs through several scenarios:

  • Run multiple tests to try to identify the problem. That would cost of over a grand, and not involve treatment. If we’re lucky, the problem can be determined from only one or two tests. Plus the cost of treatment, whatever that may be.
  • She could do exploratory surgery and remove the mass, but if there were multiple tumors, then she would euthanize your dog.
  • Or she could just make him comfortable, which may last only a few weeks.

How far do you go down the rabbit hole? Continue reading

When your Dog has the Runs—Should You Visit the Vet?

On Monday, I arrived home later than usual after work and found my husband scrubbing the carpet, a roll of paper towels lay on the floor and a scowl across his face. Buffy, my tan cocker spaniel had made a huge mess all over the living room rug. Diarrhea.

Buffy at the vet

Buffy sticking out her tongue at me at the vet’s office.

Continue reading

Oh My – She Lost an Eye

On Tuesday, I took Buffy to her eye doctor to get the pressure checked in her eyes. Her right eye had jumped from 15 to 30 in the two weeks since our last visit.

Cocker spaniel before eye surgery

Last photo of Buffy with both eyes, even though she had no vision in her right eye.

Once the pressure reaches 35, then dogs experience a severe headache, like a migraine. Continue reading

Tick Season – Is it time to change your routine?

  • What do you use for a flea and tick preventative?
  • Do you use the same product year after year since it works?
  • Did someone recommend the product?
  • With new stories about flea and tick preventives available, are you rethinking your usual strategy? I know I am.

For many years, I was against using flea and tick pesticides on my dog. Continue reading

Why is my dog scratching his face?

Chipper, my cocker spaniel, rubbed the left side of his face everywhere, on my legs, the kitchen cabinets, even on the asphalt driveway.  He would scratch at his face, but not to the point of damaging the skin, so I couldn’t tell exactly where he itched.

He drooled puddles of saliva while he sat patiently hoping for a tidbit while my husband and I ate dinner. I frequently grabbed paper towels to wipe a string of slime from his jowls.  Every morning I used a fine-toothed comb to remove most of the dried gook, which collected on his neck and the inside tip of his long droopy ear.  His white jaw and neck developed a brown stain. Chipper normally wasn’t such a drooly, itchy dog. Continue reading

Bad Dog Breath – Why You Should Clean their Teeth

“Come Buddy,” I motioned my arm for my sister’s deaf twelve year-old cocker spaniel to approach me as I sat on the kitchen floor, toothbrush in hand.  He patiently sat in front of me while I inserted his new toothbrush into his mouth.  He had just moved in with me since my sister didn’t think he would survive the four-day drive to California where she was re-locating.

I turned my head away as he exhaled a rotten egg smell.  His yellow and black teeth suffered from years of neglect.  I only hoped I could reduce his bad breath by starting a daily brushing routine.  His foul breath prevented me from giving him many hugs and pets he needed at this time of transition so late in his life. Continue reading

Wobbly Gait in Dogs – Is it Serious?

Cassie tripped as she walked on the driveway, caught herself and kept walking toward me.  How many times had this happened today?  At least ten, or was it closer to twenty?  I watched her walk, awkwardly curving to the left.  My vet thought she had arthritis in opposite legs, causing her to trip and walk abnormally.  A week later, she couldn’t walk and was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  We had to put her down less than a week later as her condition deteriorated.

Ataxia or abnormal gait, takes many different forms, most of which are neurological, although there could be joint issues such as arthritis.  Continue reading

Ear Infections – Yuk!

On a Sunday morning in early August, I sat on the kitchen floor with a brush, comb, toothbrush, poultry flavored toothpaste, eye drops, ear cleaner and cotton balls in a pile next to me, while I called Buffy to come to me; a typical grooming session for both cocker spaniels. Sundays and Wednesdays were ear-cleaning days, while tooth brushing, combing, and eye drops were included every morning. Chipper’s ears were normal, a little bit of brownish wax, but Buffy had one clean ear and one ear with thick brown gook on the cotton ball that I had rubbed inside her ear. Yuk – probably an ear infection. Continue reading